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  1. Preface and editorial commentary by Verzano Bufó, renowned scholar and historian of the Eastern Reach and noted critic of the Petrona Perini series of adventure stories which have of recent won such popularity amongst the moneyed classes of Old Vailia and the Vailian Republics It is scarcely surprising that tales so rich with action and excitement as those spread by the famed Lady Perini should have won so many admirers. To folk of wealth and breeding, with scarce more of interest in their lives than the balancing of ledgers and the tawdry gossip of the local nobility, the appeal of an educated woman of pure Vailian descent braving dangers at every turn and pursuing adventures they can scarce imagine should be self-evident. If they are to be believed, Lady Perini's tales offer us the life of adventure so many of us dream of leading, but which must forever remain outside of our reach due to the burdens of duty and family, even setting aside the near suicidal nature of the challenges Lady Perini claims to face on a near daily basis. Yet it is the unhappy task of the scholar to stem his enthusiasm for a good tale and pour the cold water of truth upon such fantasies, 'lest the swindlers and the charlatans of the world be left to reign unchallenged. The scholar must remain above all a lover of the truth, and it thus the regrettable burden of this humble scholar to reveal that Petrona Perini is little more than a highly adept fraud, neither as well bred nor as well traveled as she would have her readers believe. The stories she has written are riddled with factual inaccuracies and blatant exaggerations which are obvious enough to the critic of sufficient education, but which have been skillfully disguised to hide their true nature from the unwary layman. As such, in the course of this document, I have set myself the task of countering the danger posed to the greater public by the wild popularity of Lady Perini's work, offering both the original account and the critical commentary necessary to differentiate truth from falsehood. While her story is perhaps not fabricated from whole cloth, without careful guidance utter nonsense can all too easily be passed off as fact. It is my hope that this account will save many an unknowing reader from falling prey to just such a fate. With that aside, let us begin.
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